Carers need care too

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Are you a carer? If you’re reading this blog it’s highly likely you are. Whether you care for children, elderly parents, a family member with a disability, manage a team of people at work or consult with clients and suppliers on a regular basis – you have an opportunity to care for another.

The question is do you need extra support with your caring responsibilities? And what kind of support is available?

Australian law states that a carer is someone who looks after a person with a disability, a mental health condition, an elderly person or a serious medical condition. This type of carer is able to access financial assistance and other Government supports. To find out if you’re eligible for this tap here.

But if you don’t qualify for Government assistance (say you’re a parent or ineligible due to your earnings) there are still plenty of supports on offer. The new Government website Carer Gateway is a new hub for carers to find out how they can get assistance with their caring role. Highlights of the Carer Gateway are ‘New to caring’ articles (like Caring from a distance) and a search function to find caring support services.

The Caring for Me section is particularly useful. It looks at the usual health and wellbeing tools and advice but it also has a section devoted to working whilst caring which covers some of the following:

  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Talking to your employer
  • Speaking up
  • Respite – taking a break
  • Connecting with other carers – support groups
  • Mental health & wellbeing as a carer
  • Rights as a working carer
  • Time management
  • Employers of carers

It is as important to look after carers as it is to look after those that have acute caring needs.  In that sense we all require care – from and for ourselves as well as from and for others. When we remember this feedback loop we are far more likely to feel the benefits (not just the challenges) of our caring responsibilities.

Check out Carer Gateway’s YouTube Channel to watch more videos like this one on Planning for an Emergency.

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For more information free call: 1800 422 737 or visit www.carergateway.gov.au

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